Dance to Remember
By Moshe Katz
Israeli Krav International

February 12, 2015, American Airlines Flight 2339, Chicago to Dallas, 

Coffee served

Some dance to remember, some dance to forget.

Trauma; we all have it at some point in our lives, to one extent or another, car accidents, physical or emotional abuse, broken love, backstabbing and betrayal by friends and business partners.

Some, many, turn to the soothing embrace and nonjudgmental friendship of alcohol or ice cream. Johnnie Walker does not judge; Chunky Monkey does not criticize. Jack Daniels is always there to listen. 

Some dance to forget.

Some turn their pain and trauma into productive careers helping others, counseling, psychology and empowerment. Others deal with their unresolved anger by becoming fighters, soldiers, MMA fighters or hired killers. In each and every fight they remember the abuse they suffered, with each and every punch they take revenge on a person long since gone from their sad lives.

Some will continue to hurt others throughout their lives, every action laced with bitterness, every thought poisoned by fear, every remark colored by insulting sarcasm.

But they will never let go of their trauma, they tenaciously hold on to it. It will color their lives.

Some dance to remember.

Some will close themselves off to pain. They will avoid deep relationships and commitment, they will surround themselves with shiny happy people, good times and uppers.

Some dance to forget. 

Now you can check out anytime you want but you can never leave, not until you are brave enough to confront your trauma head on.

Some will hide behind a perpetual smile, a song or an act, tell jokes, make people laugh, be the life of the party.

Some dance to forget.

 And some dance to remember. 

To remember the pure and holy yeshiva students, young rabbinical scholars, of the Warsaw Ghetto, deeply involved in their Talmudic studies in their underground bunker while the Nazis sought to destroy every vestige of a 4,000 year old Jewish culture that had elevated the world.

The Treblinka death camp awaited them, but the young scholars continued with their holy studies. Nothing could shake their devotion.

As I walked through the Chicago O'Hare Airport earlier today, I saw four such yeshiva students in their traditional grab, long coats, black hats and side curls. It was like they walked straight out of the past.  In them I saw the yeshiva students of the Warsaw Ghetto, Poland, perhaps even these students are the grandchildren of survivors.

To me these four are the very same as those who studied in their underground rabbinical academy bunker of the Warsaw Ghetto.

They are always with me.

Some dance to remember.

In our Krav Maga training we remember the pure and holy rabbis of Warsaw, Poland, dignified men whom the Nazis never succeeded in degrading, despite all their cruel efforts. The rabbis were busily engaged in completing their holy writings before being shipped off to Treblinka in the next Aktion.

We remember Anne Frank, we remember Shelly Dadon, we remember Naftali, Gilad and Ifrach, we remember the athletes of the Munich Massacre, the children of Ma'alot, the Lod Airport Massacre, the coastal bus shooting, we remember them all.

ארץ אל תכסי דמי ואל יהי מקום לזעקתי

   איוב ט"ז י"ח

"Earth, cover not my blood, and let there be no resting place for my cry" (Job, Chapter 16)

We take this Jewish message and say- for out of Zion shall come forth the word.

In Blood and Fire

In blood and fire Zion fell and in blood and fire Zion arose again. We dance to remember and now we teach this dance to the world.

IKI - Israeli Krav International is currently operating in more than 35 countries worldwide and the blogs are being read in over 185 countries. In every country we try and imbue our instructors will this special feeling, this mission towards mankind. We remember all the victims.

We cannot forget. 

To forget is to deny the truth of what happened, it is to deny the truth. The world is again in a perilous situation, and one must never forget the reality of life. On a national, global and personal level we face many dangers. We must remember, we must prepare, we must be aware.

We teach to dance in the storm of life. Sooner or later, we will all be caught in a storm of one kind or another, and we must have the ability to dance in our own personal storm. To forget the past is a tragic mistake that we will surely pay for.

Our message is one of remembrance.

We cannot cover our pain with alcohol or ice cream or false machismo or Bad Ass Krav Maga. We do not become hardened emotionless shells protected by our armor. We confront our personal and national trauma head on, we dance with it.

"This is an old song which our ancestors taught us, not only to sing but also to dance". We dance the pain away, but we never forget. We dance in the storm. We find solutions. We learnt to cope.

And as I watch the four Yeshiva students walking in the airport I am pleased that today they can walk openly, in their unique ethnic garb and not be afraid, but not for a single moment do I forget that not long ago this was not possible and just as easily the world can revert to its former behavior and return to those dark days. We remember.

"Who is wise?", the rabbis ask, "he who sees the unborn, that which is yet to come", that is how we approach our lives and that is how we approach our Krav Maga training. 

We dance to remember, and we train to be ready.

Israel: A Nation of Warriors
eBook by Moshe Katz

Learn the culture and history of the people that produced Krav Maga. From the first warrior Abraham, to his grandson Jacob and to our current warriors of the IDF learn what motivates us to create the greatest army, the most moral army.

$9.99 on Kindle

Israel, A Nation of Warriors on Kindle